Easy Soft Pretzel Bagels

from 12 votes

Two beloved carbs join forces in a recipe for Easy Soft Pretzel Bagels that combines traditional soft pretzel flavor with classic chewy bagel texture.

A top-down view of Easy Soft Pretzel Bagels on tan parchment paper

It doesn’t take much time touring the pages around here to realize that I am a lover of all things soft pretzel. There’s just something about the yeasted, chewy, crunchy salt-topped dough that is magical in every way, shape and form.

Soft pretzel dough in a clear stand mixing bowl

Soft Pretzel Bites? Count me in! Soft Pretzel Twists? No need to twist my arm! Everything Soft Pretzel Nuggets made with pizza dough? Store-bought for the shortcut win!

Never did I ever think I could proclaim a soft pretzel recipe my most favorite of all time. And then I dreamt up this recipe for Easy Soft Pretzel Bagels, and the competition is officially over. The winner has been declared. No one is contesting the results. Easy Soft Pretzel Bagels are the best soft pretzels you will ever taste. Period.

A hand shaping soft pretzel bagels on a baking sheet

Need further convincing? When I was working on this recipe, I had not one but two family members swing by my house to take a half-dozen home. Rumor spread via the ol’ family text chain that, “Kelly just combined bagels with soft pretzels” and the family came flocking!

Their ratings? “These are an 11 out of 10,” my dad proclaimed. “Don’t change anything… can I get six more?” my brother asked. Success!

A soft pretzel bagel being dipped in a baking soda bath

Making soft pretzels from scratch may seem intimidating, but with a few pro tips and expert tricks, you’ll be baking up batch after batch with ease.

I am all about sharing my kitchen secrets, and of course my secret ingredient recipes, too, with my cookbook being full of 125 recipes starring surprisingly tasty twists, so I’ve included all of the guidance you’ll need to go from a few simple ingredients to soft pretzel bagel perfection.

Soft pretzel bagels on a baking sheet being brushed with egg wash

From the best place to proof your dough, to the easiest way to get the classic bagel shape without wasting time rolling out ropes of dough, read on for all of my tips for making Easy Soft Pretzel Bagels.

There’s only one question left to answer: Do you serve these with cream cheese, mustard or cheese sauce?

A top-down view of baked soft pretzel bagels on tan parchment paper

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Easy Soft Pretzel Bagels

Two beloved carbs join forces in a recipe for Easy Soft Pretzel Bagels that combines traditional soft pretzel flavor with classic chewy bagel texture.
Author: Kelly Senyei
4.75 from 12 votes
A top-down view of Easy Soft Pretzel Bagels on tan parchment paper
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 12 bagels


  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (110-115°F; See Kelly's Notes)
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for topping
  • 1 (¼ oz.) packet active dry yeast
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • Vegetable oil, for greasing
  • 10 cups water
  • 2/3 cup baking soda
  • 1 large egg yolk, beaten with 1 Tablespoon water


  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the water, sugar and salt. Sprinkle the yeast on top and allow it to sit for 5 minutes until it begins to foam.
  • Add the flour and melted butter to the bowl and mix on low speed until the dough begins to form, then increase the speed to medium and knead the dough until it pulls away from the sides of the bowl, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl then grease the bowl with vegetable oil and return the dough to it. Cover it with plastic wrap and set it in a dark, warm place to proof until it doubles in size, about 1 hour. (See Kelly's Notes.)
  • Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and grease them with vegetable oil.
  • In a large pot, whisk together the water and baking soda. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil. While the mixture is coming to a boil, uncover the dough, transfer it to your work surface and divide it into 12 equal portions. (See Kelly's Notes.) Cupping your hand over each piece of dough, roll it into a ball then press your thumb through the center and stretch the dough to form a 2-inch hole in the center.
  • Working in batches, boil the bagels in the baking soda mixture for 30 seconds, flipping them once. Using a slotted spoon or spider, transfer the bagels onto the lined baking sheets, spacing them a few inches apart.
  • Brush the tops of the bagels with the egg wash then sprinkle them with salt. (See Kelly's Notes.)
  • Bake the bagels until they are deep-golden brown in color, rotating the pans halfway through, for a total of 12 to 15 minutes. Remove the bagels from the oven and let them cool slightly before serving.

Kelly's Notes:

  • The water needs to warm enough to kickstart the yeast, however it must be below 120°F, which is the temperature at which the yeast will begin to die off.
  • My favorite place to proof dough is in my dryer! Let the dryer run for 5 minutes then turn it off and place your covered bowl of dough inside and shut the door. The dryer is the ideal warm, dark and humid environment that let's the yeast thrive.
  • Do not flour your work surface, as you want the tackiness of the dough touching the surface to allow you to roll smooth balls.
  • Get creative with toppings by swapping the salt for everything seasoning!


Calories: 213kcal, Carbohydrates: 37g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 26mg, Sodium: 2225mg, Potassium: 54mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 138IU, Calcium: 17mg, Iron: 2mg


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  1. 5 stars
    I made a 1/2 batch because it was my first attempt at bagels. I have made dozens of types of breads. They are delicious and I wouldn’t change a thing about the recipe. We are them with Nutella.

  2. Just wondering why not use Bread flour as opposed to all purpose flour? Wouldn’t it make them more soft and chewy? I haven’t made bagels yet. But did make Pretzel bread (Actually was supposed to be pretzel rolls except I used Rapid Rise Yeast and boy did those rolls get huge.) So before I make these I thought I’d ask about the flour. ANd yes I got the right yeast for these bagels!

    1. Hi Janet! This recipe yields incredibly soft, tender and chewy pretzel bagels. I like using AP flour in them, and most of the time I get the feedback that people always have AP flour on hand, so they can always make this recipe! Feel free to try using bread flour. Let me know how they turn out!

      1. Hi Jessie! Absolutely! You can make these by just stirring together the dough (using a bit of elbow grease!) and then hand-kneading it. The results will still be great!

  3. Just made these – so happy with the way they turned out! I made half the recipe as this was my first try at bagels but will make a double batch next time! Loved the whole process – kneading (by hand, no stand mixer), shaping, boiling, baking – well worth the effort – wish I could post a pic! Thanks for the recipe

  4. 4 stars
    In case you need more space, another great place to proof dough is your dishwasher. If you have ever worked in a bakery (I have) you know that they often proof yeast doughs in a proofing box, a warm moist environment that is pretty much exactly like your dishwasher after you have run a quick rinse cycle. Plus the racks let you proof a couple of sheet pans of deliciousness at time.
    This recipe is delicious and has already been made numerous times! Thanks

  5. 5 stars
    Good! I might boil a little longer next time for a chewier, more New York style bagel crust. They’re very soft.

  6. 5 stars
    I’ve made these multiple times with wonderful, consistent results using the recipe just as is! I usually half recipes, but I will always use a full recipe since I love these SO much. Plus, they freeze well. I play around with the shapes… bagels, knots, rolls, and pretzels. Have fun with it!

    1. Hi Lisa – You could do it by hand! It should work out without any issues (although the texture might be slightly different), you’ll just want to make sure the ingredients are well incorporated.

  7. Hi – thanks for sharing the recipe. I have a question, not a comment, since I haven’t made these yet.
    With the exception of the butter, it looks like a standard bagel recipe. Is the addition of the butter and the sprinkling of the salt what makes it pretzel-y? Thanks!

    1. Hi Lisa! The boiling liquid for bagels often contains honey, malt syrup or (brown) sugar. Pretzels, in contrast, are boiled in an alkaline solution (water + baking soda), which gives them their flavor and deep brown hue. This recipe uses the pretzel technique for boiling prior to baking the bagels. Hope that helps!

  8. 5 stars
    Amazing!! Just tried it for the first time and did they turn out!! I used a bagel pan to bake them but they turned out great!!!

  9. Hi Kelly,

    Tried your pretzel bagel recipe and wow so good! Very soft and tasty! Thanks for sharing.

    I probably used too much egg wash on the bagels. The bottoms where the egg wash collected turned a bit green I guess because of the baking soda wash. Has this happened when you make the bagels?

    1. So glad you enjoyed the recipe, Colleen! Yes, any eggwash that spills off the bagels may turn a tinge green when baked so you can just go lighter on it next time :)

  10. 3 stars
    I truly struggled with dividing and forming the dough into bagels because it was way too sticky. I don’t know what went wrong.

    1. Hi Alena – I haven’t experienced that issue before, but you could always add more flour (1 tablespoon at a time).

  11. Recipe looks great, can’t wait to try them. Any idea if the bagels can be frozen? If so, would it be best to boil then freeze, or boil and bake before freezing? Thanks!

    1. Hi Kimberly! After baking and cooling, the bagels can be frozen for up to three months. Wrap them securely in plastic wrap and store them in sealable plastic bags in the freezer.

  12. 5 stars
    I was debating between these and the bagels, but after reviewing both, i’m not sure what the main differences are. Do they taste very similar? Is one easier? Thanks so much. Love exploring your recipes!

    1. Hi Trish! They’re both great :) It’s a very similar dough, so it just comes down to whether you prefer the taste of soft pretzels or tradition bagels!

  13. 5 stars
    Made these this afternoon and they were to die for!! I slathered with loads of cream cheese but I’m going to use one tomorrow morning to make a breakfast sandwich. TY for this recipe!

  14. These look brilliant! I love the dryer tip! We are a small family and cannot eat 12 bagels at once. Is it better to divide the recipe in half or is there a recommended way to store and reheat? Thank you!